I just moved and cat is too scared to find the litter box

by Erin
(Pittsburgh, PA)

I just moved from a small one bedroom apartment to a large house with five roommates, which I know is a huge change. My cat adjusted well to my bedroom and ventures a few steps outside to the bathroom but is too scared to go anywhere else.

I want to put his litter box in the basement (the bedroom is on the second floor) but I think he’s too scared to make it to the basement.

He peed on my sweatshirt in my room because there was no litter and then I brought litter in and he pooped in the box.

I then placed the box with poop and the peed-on sweatshirt back in the basement so he can find his own scent. I really don’t want to put a litter box upstairs permanently as a courtesy to my roommates.

Is this enough to get him to venture into the basement? Or would the best option be to move the litter box upstairs for a few weeks until he becomes comfortable in the whole house then move it to the basement?

My thoughts: I'm sorry to hear your cat is having trouble adjusting to the move.

When you move, it's best to keep your cat in one room for a while. This keeps him from being overwhelmed. It sounds like he's sort of doing that for himself at this point.

When Jazzy and I moved, I kept the litter box in the closet in my room with the closet door open all the time. Once he got used to using it and got better adjusted to the house, I moved the box to another location. Baby steps.

Ideally, you'd have a box on each floor permanently, but if that's not possible, baby steps are the way to go.

I hope that helps

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Dec 14, 2018
Scared cat
by: Randy

Some cats like smaller territories. I live in a high-rise apt building. Have 2 cats. The male is pretty much fearless and likes to run the hallway when he can escape. A couple girls in the floor feed him treats when he get loose. He loves everyone.

My smaller female only once ventured outside the door. She is very timid and shy. Her attitude was like, "What is this? I don't like it out here." Her body was dragging the ground and her head held as high as possible. Evidently she didn't like it and never ventured outside my door again, even when left open. No desire to explore the hallway.

So, it's quite possible your cat has decided that your room is her new "territory" and prefers to stay there because it has a familiar person and smells. She may eventually venture out of the area, but for now I would leave the litter box in your room.

Try leaving the door open. She may eventually decide to go exploring on her own.

Cats do get stressed when when changes are forced on them. Trying to make the cat go to the basement before she is ready is only going to stress her out.

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